Companies like Nike, Adidas, Coca-Cola and Macy’s excel at brand recognition via social media. According to Statista, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram are among the most influential social media networks when it comes to brand recognition.
Here are the six basic ways to maximize social media brand recognition of both personal and corporate brands.
#1 Consistent Watermark Placement
Watermarks or logos should not be inserted in 10 different colors depending on what image they are placed on. A simple black and white version as well as the main colored logo are more than enough. The trick with social media brand recognition is the logo placement.
For instance, your watermark could always be in the bottom right corner (as seen in the example above) or in the top left corner. You would be surprised what a difference it makes when you place the logo in the same place every time.
#2 Implementation of Hashtags
Hashtags are most popular on Twitter and Google+ but should be used differently to maximize brand recognition.
Custom Hashtags on Twitter
Global brands such as Red Bull (#givesyouwings) and Victoria’s Secret (#whatangelswant) are pioneers when it comes to custom hashtags. The trick is to use a hashtag that customers wouldn’t mind retweeting or using in a different context.
A common example of a terrible hashtag is the company name such as #johnsbusiness, #markscornerstore, #mjfashion and so on (these are just made up but you get the idea). Converting the company name into a hashtag is not ideal because the mention like @johnsbusiness becomes redundant. Imagine a tweet “It’s Monday morning and we are open @johnsbusiness #johnsbusiness” – you would use either one or the other but never both.
Great custom hashtags express feelings associated with the brand or a result of using the product or service. For instance a bakery could invent the hashtag #nocrumbsleft. Anyone could use this hashtag and customers would love to post a before and after photo on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #nocrubmsleft.
Hashtag Combinations on Google+
While you can insert hashtags on Google+, the platform also automatically inserts hashtags (usually if you use three hashtags or less). The trick here is to get your brand associated with a popular and relevant hashtag. Let’s take the example of the bakery again. A great Google+ hashtag would be #tasty.
If you mention your brand, for instance +JohnsBakery, and then use the hashtag #tasty every time, Google+ will eventually start automatically inserting this hashtag when customers mention you on Google+. This might not happen after three times because it is one of the most popular hashtags but if the bakery used their custom hashtag #nocrumbsleft for instance, the process would be much faster.
Why Anyone Should Do This
So let’s say people love the custom hashtag and start using it without mentioning your brand name. Instead of letting it get out of hand, you can easily keep track of hashtags on Twitter as well as on Google+, Instagram, Vine or whatever it is you chose as your branding platform. Favorite, like or repost anything that contains your hashtag and thank people for using it. Brand association: check. Engagement: check. Two birds with one stone!
#3 Matching Profile & Header Images
Red Bull is a perfect example of how to match the logo (profile avatar) and the header image of each social media network to maximize brand recognition. Instead of simply choosing a photo of any athlete in the air such as snowboarders and motocross racers, the company makes sure to choose photos that either match red, blue or yellow since the Red Bull logo is also red, blue or yellow. This is not something fans would pick up on but it is something that they notice subconsciously.
The screenshot above is Red Bull’s Google+ page. The constantly changing header images and the perfect implementation of brand recognition strategies earned Red Bull a spot on our list of the Top 10 Instagram Accounts of 2014.
#4 Reusable Templates For Images
The number one way to make social media brand recognition easier for the marketing team or small business owner is to provide reusable templates that are the base for anything visual.
Ideas for reusable templates include the visuals themselves as well as account management strategies:
- Where the logo should be placed
- Color of the copyright line at the bottom of each visual
- Recommended text / imagery ratio
- Minimum number of videos shared per month
- Border dimensions between frame and photos / photo grids / text etc.
- Standard dimensions for sharing one photo only
- Standard dimension for photo grids
- Standard publishing time
- Standard set of colors
- Standard set of photo effects (e.g. Mayfair filter on Instagram)
Reusable templates could even be a PowerPoint slide with background, a logo and two fonts that are also on the website. Naturally, font dimensions would be predetermined also.
#5 Consistent Fonts & Colors
Something that is often forgotten when designing a website is that the fonts of the website should be fonts that is readily available to the marketing team when designing any print collateral, emailers or social media visuals. This way, the brand recognition can be easily taken to the next level and social media channels look more like an extension of the website.
An example of consistent fonts and colors is Jamie Oliver’s Drink Tube (see screenshot of Google image results below).
Color psychology plays a big role on social media also because you want people to reshare and like what you originally shared. Colors like red raise the heartbeat and typically get more shares than brown for instance. Now You ask yourself who would use brown anyway but think of a leather company and you understand the problem.
There are many opportunities to insert colors that help sharing (red) or comments (yellow) just to name a few.
#6 Content Characteristics
While your social media should take on a variety of forms and shapes, e.g. video, animation, photo, text, links, infographics and so on, the characteristics of the content should be consistent. For instance, your Twitter account could be known for sharing new and informative content while your Facebook page could be known for sharing funny and current content – all relevant to what you are offering naturally.
For example, the bakery could share funny baking mishaps (flour bombs, anyone?), seasonal recipes, how to baking instructions and pastry ingredient infographics (popular hashtag #whatsinmyfood would be appropriate here).
Brand recognition is becoming ever so important. There are countless opportunities to improve brand recognition with little tricks such as the ones mentioned above. Social media networks are a great way to extend the reach and increase the awareness of your brand and should be experimented with to maximize brand recognition.
Photo credit: Featured image is a screenshot of Red Bull’s Facebook page, no copyright violation intended.